BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The five-story warehouse building at 79 Perry Street will soon have a new look and new life as Labatt USA takes on a new venture in partnership with Pegula Sports and Entertainment.
Wednesday, representatives from both groups came together with city leaders at Alumni Plaza at the Key Bank Center to announce redevelopment plans for the 79,000 square foot building at the corner of Illinois and Perry Streets, which the Pegula organization bought last year.
When the renovations are finished, Pegula Sports and Entertainment will operate a full service restaurant on the ground floor, while Labatt USA runs its headquarters and a new pilot brewery out of the site as the anchor tenant.
The pilot brewery is the first operation of its kind for Labatt USA, which until now has only imported beer into this market. Guests to the brewery will be able to interact with the brew masters to help develop new products.
“There are thousands of different styles of beer that can be made and consumed,” explained Glen Tibbits, General Manager for Labatt USA. “The idea behind the pilot brewery is to provide a forum for consumers to feed back with the brew masters to actually make beers that consumers want to drink and see in the marketplace.”
Labatt leaders say they’re excited for the innovation opportunities the redevelopment will present as well as the opportunities to continue to grow in the area.
Since Labatt USA moved its sales headquarters to Buffalo in 2007, it has grown its local workforce from 18 people to 56, and now it promises new jobs as the space opens up.
Pegula Sports and Entertainment plans to hire an architect in the next few days to help firm up what else will be going into the building.
“Once we pick an architect, then I think the direction about what the 3rd, 4th and 5th floors will be will begin to kind of present themselves, but I know that there will be other commercial use in there and there will certainly be residential as well,” said Bruce Popko, Chief Operating Officer for PSE.
The redevelopment of the building at 79 Perry Street marks another large step forward in the redevelopment of the Cobblestone District and Canalside areas.
On Wednesday, Mayor Byron Brown noted there have been more than $635 million in investments made in the area just since 2012. “We certainly want to thank Terry and Kim pegula for their great contribution to that,” he said.
At this point, there is still no word for the price tag on the renovations for the Perry Street building. The scope of the project will become clearer as the designers get to work.
“It’s going to be a lot of hard work, obviously,” Tibbits said. “We’re going to drink a few beers getting it all planned out an executed. But we’re confident that the building is going to take shape fairly quickly.”
If all goes well, the redevelopment project should be finished between July and September 2018.